TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Right before we left for our trip to Tennessee last week, I stopped by the store and impulsively bought these hair ties that I’ve seen several friends wear. They look like someone took the cord off an old 1980s style phone and turned it into a ponytail holder. Same texture, same coil, same bounce back. Oh, the hours I used to spend twirling a phone cord around my finger! The last thing in the world I ever considered was tying my hair up with one. What possessed someone to try this? It looks like a recipe for a hot, tangled mess! But someone far braver than I am tried it, and I just paid them $10 for something that I had yards and yards of in my childhood. These tele-ties (whatever they are called) are phenomenal! They have made it into the elite position of essential hair accessories, second only to my hair screws, which are vastly superior to bobby pins. (If you have long hair, Google them. Expensive at $10 for two screws, but worth every penny. I guard mine like gold.)
Anyway – the tele-ties led to thinking about phone cords… And my childhood. What other things did I have at my fingertips that I took for granted?
Too much, I’m afraid.
And the worst of the worst — I took my Christian education for granted.
My parents both worked full-time jobs to keep me in a private, Christian school for 12 years. Bible class was a required class each day, and I wish I could tell you that I looked forward to them. But I didn’t. We had to memorize Bible verses every week, and since I have always been terrible at memorizing, I simply didn’t like the class. That one aspect of it made me glaze over for the whole thing.
Despite daydreaming during Bible class, some stuff stuck. Between daily Bible classes and being active in our church, I am the poster child for Proverbs 22:6, which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Though I don’t like the “when he is old part.” 45 isn’t old. Sure, it was old was when I was 18, but definitely, it’s not old now. But beyond my ruffled feathers about age, this former prodigal was trained in the Word, and she did return to it.
The teenage me, who laid on the floor, curling the phone cord around my fingers while talking to my friends, talking to boys, talking to my friends about boys, making mixed tapes from the radio, and avoiding homework eventually came back around. The days of being tethered to a wall are long gone, but I am so happy to be tethered to the Word.
But I wish I knew then what I know now.
I wish I knew then what a privilege it was to grow up in church. And how fortunate I was that my parents made sure I had a Christian education. I wish I knew then how amazing the Bible really is. I wish I had become a student of the Word way back then. I regret that I ever found it boring, when now — I just wish I had more time to study the Bible.
How I bemoan the ignorance of youth. All the energy and twice the stupidity.
I wish I had my old, rotary phone with the curly cord. I wish I could still lay on the floor without feeling it the next day. I wish I could sit through daily Bible classes again. I wish I could turn back the clock and apply today’s wisdom to yesterday’s memories.
But God…. And grace…
When I’m discouraged, I remember this. God is faithful, and His wisdom that inspired this Proverb holds true even centuries later. His grace led me home. And His grace is something I no longer take for granted.
Today, as you pray, thank God for the truth of Proverbs 22:6. If you are a recovered prodigal, thank Him that He never gave up on you, even when you weren’t thinking of Him. If you have a prodigal child, keep praying. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you hope and rest on the wisdom that even when we’re tired, discouraged, and feel hopeless — He is not. He knows the future for our loved ones and us. He knows, and that’s enough.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.